Date of Award

Fall 12-2011

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Dr. Curtis Austin

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Dr. Chester Morgan

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Dr. Susannah Ural

Committee Member 3 Department



Utilizing monthly reports and correspondence of civil rights organizations, in addition to newspaper coverage, oral histories, and memoirs, this study shows that a grassroots, community-driven movement mobilized in Mississippi’s capital to challenge institutionalized discrimination. Yet, racial identity did not dictate exclusively how White and Black Mississippians responded to the unfolding Civil Rights Movement. Conflicting and shifting motivations shaped the nature, extent, and pace by which Blacks and Whites challenged or protected status quo discrimination. The Jackson Movement began as early as 1955 and sustained protest activity into the 1960s. By the summer of 1965, Jackson’s Black community secured most of its original demands for nondiscriminatory service and employment, but competing socioeconomic interests increasingly limited the pace of further social change in Jackson and in the broader Mississippi Movement.